How do I know which colors to use for my World Map of tectonic plate boundaries?  I have the outline completed but the assignment calls for "coloring each plate and label accordingly" which are 12 geological features in all.  I assume there are specific colors but how do I figure that out.  The 12 features are the North American Plate, South American Plate, African Plate, Eurasian Plate, Antarctic Plate, Indian-Australian Plate, Pacific Plate, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Ring of Fire, Himalayas, Great Barrier Reef, and Mt. Pinatubo, which I have already identified.



Expert Answers

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You're wondering which colors to use for your map of the tectonic plates?  Since the assignment didn't specify a certain color to each plate you can assume that each plate has to be a different color from the bordering plate.  You actually need only 4 distinct colors to do that, since no plate shares a border with more than 3 other plates adjacent to each other.  You just make sure that no two adjacent plates are the same color, and you write each plate's name on it is the label.  As for the colors, they can be any 4 colors you want them to be, so long as you can easily tell them apart (don't use 4 different shades of the same color). 

For the geological features you may need to add a few colors to set them apart, and you will have to put written labels on them just like maps use for significant landmarks.  You already know where these features are, you just have to put them in your map.  Have fun!

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